Keep Your Sales Up in a Down Economy (an eBook)


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Ok, ok so here is a bit of blatant year end self promotion. I am really excited to having contributed to an ebook titled Keep Your Sales Up in a Down Economy you can check out my contribution on pg 39. Even more importantly, there are 18 other fantastic contributors with great ideas!

 

If you already read my Anti-Resolution post from December 23rd and were looking for daily actions to take starting NOW – this ebook is for you!

  • Screaming Louder Won’t Help! – Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions
  • Jumpstart Your Sales in a Stalled Economy – Nancy Bleeke, Corporate Resource Development
  • Get Your Cold Calling Signals Straight – Leslie Buterin, ColdCallingNetNews.com
  • Developing Core Strength: Get Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable – Danita Bye, Sales Growth Specialists
  • The No-Fail Popcorn Sales Theory You Need NOW! – Kim Duke, The Sales Diva
  • Keep Customers, Kill the Recession – Colleen Francis, Engage Selling Solutions
  • It’s All About Value – Brooke Green, The Ultimate Sales Chick
  • In Tough Times, Check Your Parachute – Jill Harrington, Potential2Performance
  • Focus on What You Can Control – Jill Konrath, Selling to Big Companies
  • Show Your Clients the Money! – Kendra Lee, KLA Group
  • Are You Losing Them in the First Two Minutes? – Anne Miller, Metaphorically Selling
  • Five Tools That Make Selling Easier – Debbie Mrazek, The Sales Company
  • Health Equals Wealth – Wendie Pett, Wendie Pett Enterprises
  • How to Strategically Earn Referral Business – Make a Plan & Take Action – Lori Richardson, Score More Sales
  • Building Your Social Capital Portfolio in Tough Times – Lynn Schleeter, Center for Sales Innovation
  • Mindset Matters – Tonya Signa, Signature Marketing Services
  • The Top Four Reasons Sales Managers Fail – Colleen Stanley, SalesLeadership, Inc
  • Hopscotch Your Way Through the Slumps – Susan Zimmerman, Mindful Action Planning
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Anti-Resolution


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Well here we are again, that time of the year when people all over the world make New Year’s Resolutions. Even the US government is getting into the act with their list of Popular New Year’s Resolutions

 

Here is the crazy thing I’ve seen statistics in the United States as low as 3% and up to a whopping 15% of people actually keep their resolutions. So give it up people! It seems that keeping New Year’s resolutions and telling salespeople the truth are two things we are not willing to do.

 

Instead, what if we work on daily resolve?

 

Every day, making a concerted effort to do something that moves us forward toward our goals (or even away from something we DON’T want/like/enjoy in our lives or careers). It doesn’t matter if it seems like a little thing.

 

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ~ Edmund Burke (British statesman and philosopher from the 18th century)

 

Think of how far we will be able to go if we take 365 little action steps forward over the next year.

conversation vs. interrogation

Who wants to feel like they are in a dark, empty room. Sitting in the room’s single wooden chair as a BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT shines on them and a person they can’t see fires questions at them one after the other?

Not me – that’s for sure! Yet time after time, that is what salespeople sound like on the phone as they try to get out every question they ever learned in training before being hung up on (and no wonder people hang up)!

Instead, help your prospects and customers feel like they are sinking back into a comfy couch with a nice cup of coffee (tea, chocolate, diet coke, what ever) having a relaxed conversation with a friend.

  1. When they answer the phone, say “hello” (or your version of it) NOT “yes”. Salespeople are the only people in the world who say “yes” when the phone is answered… strike one.
  2. Greet them and PAUSE- you don’t launch into your pitch to go out on Friday night to your friends, you pause so they have time to recognize your voice.
    safety tip: if they aren’t going to recognize you – after a moment let them off the hook “don’t worry, you don’t know me” (again, make that your own). My experience shows they will either laugh or sigh with relief.
  3. TWO sentences on why you’re calling, then a question. (ssshhhhhhhh – let them answer, we’re on the phone so put yourself on mute!!!!) Get the dialog going back & forth.

Now you will be on your conversational journey.

Enjoy!

Chapter 1: Action Items



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It is amazing the different things people get from reading a book and deciding what action they are going to take in their careers based on what they are reading. There are lots of important points in chapter one, we all took away that our forecasting could use some serious effort. Here are the commitments we made on what action we will focus on for the next two weeks:

 

A couple of people have committed to categorize each company in their account base based on their own version of Outstanding Proposals, Hard Leads, Prospects, and Suspects.

 

One book club member who has been in sales for under a year has committed to figuring out who her customers are, their 2009 budgets, and what they are going to spend with her.

 

Another is going to create a customized forecast spreadsheet and create his customer formula (x customers @ $_______ = total dollars sold in 2009)

 

Someone else is going to look back at my customer spend for 2008 and forecast for them in 2009.

 

As for me, I have committed to enter what I know into my forecast spreadsheet before I leave on vacation. That way when I come back on Monday January 5th I’ll be ready to rock & roll!

 

I hope you enjoy reading about our journey – you can always buy the book and join in electronically.

 

Debbie Mrazek’s The Field Guide To Sales.

Quote of the day…


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The other day I had the opportunity to create and submit a quote for the 2010 Woman’s Advantage Page-a-Day Calendar. Now it hasn’t been accepted yet, but I wanted to share it with you because I think the idea is critical:

It is more important to take responsibility for your successes, than it is for your mistakes.

Very often I find that people are willing to take responsibility for all the bad things that happen in their careers and life, but not for the wonderful things that they work so hard to achieve.

 

When ever you take action – always take responsibility and credit, regardless of the outcome… especially when good things happen!

Book Club: Chapter 1

I just started reading a new book with my sales success book club,

Debbie Mrazek’s The Field Guide To Sales.

My book club meets every two weeks – we read a chapter, play with the concepts ourselves, come together and discuss, then make a commitment on what we are going to do over the next two weeks (no not to read the next chapter)… what ACTION we will take in our business on what we learned. The next time we meet, we start with result sharing.

The new concept that Debbie introduced me to is what she calls forecasting – today I call it guestimating (because that is what I’m doing – it is the first chapter after all) my piece of their business for the next 12 months BY MONTH. Whew.

She even talks about not being overwhelmed and starting with your top customers then working through everyone else down to your prospects then suspects! I’ve got a spreadsheet set up for myself with formulas and everything. Company names are in the spreadsheet… I have the 1st 11 months sales totals noted for myself on customers, the business opportunities I already know about. Now for the work!

Here is the great telesales tip – this is a great conversation to have with people who tell you “I’ve got nothing going on” or “the holiday’s are my slow time” or “I don’t have any money”. How?

  • That’s GREAT, now would be the perfect time for us to talk about what your 2009 plans are so we can be ready to move when you DO have lots going on!

 

Safety tip: because you have now brought the person way into the future – bring them back to the present before you close the call by saying…. Now that we’ve talked about what we will be doing in 2009, is there anything I should be doing for you today?